Eventista: Outdoor party timeWritten by Brittany Craig | | firstname.lastname@example.org
From graduation celebrations, Independence Day festivities, pool parties and luaus to family reunions and anniversary and birthday parties, there are many reasons to host a backyard party this summer. Here are some ideas your guests are sure to enjoy and remember.
- Announce it! Stir up excitement for a party friends will surely anticipate with festive invitations. Check out the stock at Fiddle Stix Boutique or Paula Brown Shop. Both shops carry print-at-home options and offer printing services.
- There’s nothing like standing in the hot summer sun to kill a good party, especially in those cute shoes we ladies wear! Be sure to have plenty of seating by creating groupings throughout your patio or backyard. Venture out from the typical chairs and tables by adding cushions or pillows to garden walls, or lay down brightly colored blankets and oversized pillows.
- As the sun sets, be sure to set the mood with candles. Position them along walkways, garden borders and patio tables. Place candles in canning jars and wrap wire around the neck to loop them onto branches. You can find some chic classics at garage or rummage sales. For a little color, hang lanterns in various shapes and sizes.
- Run clotheslines in patterns above your patio or pool. For a safe and easy way, drop LED lights in the lanterns before guests arrive. They’ll last all night!
- Accentuate your colorful garden and landscape. Coordinate your décor and highlight your blooming bed of flowers with colorful pillows, glassware and linens. Or if you are more streamlined and manicured, accent with modern, contemporary touches, monochromatic schemes and milk glassware.
- Bring the garden to the table with fresh bouquets. Or buy cut blooms in similar garden colors to accent the house and patio tables.
- Nothing says summer like good ol’ fashion barbecue. Jazz it up with a tapas-style menu. Serve smaller portions that are one or two bites. It will cut down on your silverware so guests can munch and mingle. Create stations inside the kitchen and out on the patio. This allows you to control temperature sensitive items so they don’t sit too long in the sun.
- Mix it up! Premix two specialty drinks, ready in pitchers for easy serving. Chill wines, beers, sodas and waters in large metal tins, or thrifty buckets. Station them throughout the yard and in the shade.
- Keep plenty of ice on standby for both chilling drinks and serving.
- For large parties, rent an ice cooler from a local party supplier, like Meredith Party Rentals. You’ll even have room for ice cream!
- Now, shake it! An iPod and some mixed CDs are always a good standby, but why not feature something special like a steel drum band or Spanish guitarist? Invite local artists to come for a few hours and treat your guests to something truly entertaining.
- You’ve set the mood with your lighting, music, décor, scrumptious menu and thirst-quenching drinks, but don’t forget to add a few “toys”. Simple lawn games like Cornhole, and lawn checkers make for a good time. Take it one step further and bring your entertainment council outdoors! Project your game on a screen or large white sheet. When the sun goes down, you could be bowling in your back yard or hitting golf balls!
- Keep unwanted guests away by having plenty of bug repellent with sprays, torches or candles. I recommend Swan Creek Candle Company’s lemon-grass fragrance. It’s a pleasant scent you can use indoors or out that repels bugs and mosquitoes.
- Check the facilities. If your party is large and you are on a septic tank, schedule pre-party maintenance.
- Stock-up on plenty of toilet paper and add a few flowers or candles.
- Plan out your menu and serving ware. Some items can be prepared and cooked the day before.
- Organize by creating a checklist and recruit friends and family for help.
- Come party day, all you have to do is finishing touches and pour yourself a cocktail!
Brittany Craig is the principle event designer and coordinator for Crowning Celebrations. She specializes in wedding and social celebrations. Follow her Eventista blog at www.crowningcelebrations.blogspot.com/.